Endless Summer is over

We left Vancouver nearly one year ago, and what a year it has been. As we prepare for our re-entry into ‘normal life,’ we did some reflecting on this grand adventure.

Here are some stats:

7500+: number of kilometres ridden (my bike computer stopped working several times, so we don’t have a more accurate number)

22: # of countries we cycled in

7: # of oceans and seas we swam in (Caribbean Sea, Atlantic Ocean, North Sea, Baltic Sea, Adriatic Sea, Bali Sea, Tasman Sea)

192: # of different places we slept

27: # of Warmshowers hosts, in 9 countries

29: # of camping spots (3 at campgrounds, rest were wild camps)

4: # of weeks at Workaway volunteer gigs (4 x 1 week in Spain, England, Wales, Croatia)

14: # of friends/relatives we stayed with, in 10 countries

69: # of postcards sent

40C: Hottest daytime temperature (Melbourne, Australia)

6 C: Coldest daytime temp (Plitvice Lake, Croatia)

4: # of tubes of toothpaste, and 3 toothbrushes each

5: # of broad-brimmed hats of Paul’s lost

4: # of times Keltie dropped her phone and cracks were added to the screen (but it’s still going!!)

79: # of books read/listened to

3: # of countries we scythed grass in (England, Sweden and Croatia)

1: # of bouts of GI upset each

1: # of times we were sick – flu (Paul) + cold (Keltie)

70: # of kg of granola/muesli consumed

7: # of flat tires

2: # of tires replaced (1 new tire + 1 used tire rescued from dumpster behind bike shop – still on Kelt’s bike)

1: # of spokes replaced

1: # of chains + gears replaced (each)

3: # of cables replaced (total)

3-5: # of major arguments/relationship conflicts (depends who’s counting!)

Countries we felt safest: Sweden + Cuba

Countries we felt most anxious for security: Guatemala

Hardest riding: southern England, Bali

Easiest/most pleasant riding: Sweden

Best food: Bali, Melbourne

Worst food: Cuba

Hidden gems: Serbia, Bosnia

Favourite big cities: Merida, Mexico; Essaouria, Morocco; Porto, Portugal; Copenhagen, Denmark; Stockholm, Sweden; Budapest, Hungary; Novi Sad, Serbia; Split, Croatia; Sarajevo, Bosnia; Melbourne, Australia

Favourite smaller towns: Bacalar, Mexico; Vejer de la Frontera, Spain; Aberystwyth, Wales; Todmorden, England; Rovinj, Croatia; Munduk, Bali; Sidemen, Bali

As we sit in the Melbourne airport, waiting to board our flight home, I have a mix of emotions. Elation about seeing family and friends again, and our chickens and beloved Ironhorse Ranch. We are looking forward to sleeping in our own bed. Eating bread from the nearby French bakery. Reading in the kitchen hammock while the disco ball spins. Getting into a few routines.

But also there are a lot of changes. Good friends have moved away; others have had babies. Our nephew is almost 12, our niece has probably grown 4″. Paul is no longer “The Bike Doctor” – well, at least not formally. I resigned from my position as Healthy City Planner at the City. This means the possibility of new opportunities, and also brings some anxiety about the unknown.

In the wise words of my great friend, counseling me as we texted across time zones about my fears of being unable or unwilling to pick up exactly where I left off:

You can re-invent yourself.
You don’t have to be the Keltie who left a year ago.
You are no longer that woman, so don’t expect to be her.

Here’s to reinvention!

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4 comments

  1. Awesome year! Thanks for sharing it with those of us at home.
    And here’s to reinvention! It’s a wonderful thing. Keep the things that are still working for you and change out those that aren’t. You must have learned an incredible amount about life in your year. It will serve you well!
    Welcome home!!!!

    Like

    • The satistics are impressive 2020 is a new start for you both what an amazing adventure you’ve just had. Safe trip home 🏡

      Like

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